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Saturday, October 01, 2011

Flood death toll in Cambodia rises to 148

PHNOM PENH, Oct. 1 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Saturday at least 148 people have been killed in the Mekong River and flash floods from Aug. 13 to Sept. 30.

"Among the victims are 52 children," the prime minister said in a speech broadcast in local TVs and radios.

"The government of Cambodia expressed deep condolences to the families of the dead and donated 2 million riels (500 U.S. dollars) to the families of each dead," he said.

The premier said that by Sept. 30, the floods have affected 173, 063 families and forced 17,273 other families to be evacuated for higher grounds. Another 130,220 homes have been inundated.
He added that over 270,000 hectares of rice paddies have been affected and nearly 80,000 hectares were completely damaged.

About 817 schools and 361 Buddhist pagodas have been submerged and some 100 kilometers of national roads were affected, he said.

Cambodia predicted that the country's GDP growth at about 7 percent this year and the poverty rate is expected to drop at least 1 percent.

"The floods will affect both economic growth and poverty rate reduction this year," he said. "Some families who have already got out of poverty will fall into poverty again."

Hun Sen said as of Saturday, the water level at Mekong River has gradually declined and would continue to recede in coming days.

Meanwhile, the premier called on all local authorities, Cambodian Red Cross, and humanitarian organizations to help the affected people through food supply, sanitary issues, and health issues.

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